Whether your career is months-long or decades-long, it's never too late to start thinking about ways to network and manage your scholarly identity and reputation. Think about what kind of online presence you want to create, what you want to do online, and who you would like to interact with. These things will help you get started, and the rest of the information on this page will help with resources to start your journey.
If you have any questions or would like more detailed information, please reach out to Christina Miskey, Scholarly Communication Librarian for Research Infrastructure, or your Subject Liaison Librarian.
Sharing your research in other places, such as a researcher profile, personalized website, social media, or a preprint server, allows a wider audience to read your research. This could lead to future collaborators, more citations, improvements in scientific findings or writing, and generally more impact and reach for your scholarly or creative works.
Networking can happen in a variety of ways online. First, you'll want to check with colleagues or mentors in your field to see which platforms that others in your discipline are using so you can connect with the most people. Next, you'll want to spend time creating an account and building up your profile. Refer back to the tips listed on the Home and Resources for UNLV Faculty pages for specific tips on doing this. Below is some information about commonly used social media sites and online profiling systems.
Looking for collaborators? Check out these databases that can help you find colleagues to collaborate with on future projects.
Dimensions. This is a database that allows researchers to track trends in grant funding and publication, filtering and sorting by subject area, funder, institution, and dollar amounts over time. Search by subject area or topic, abstract, author, institution, or keyword.
Inspec Analytics. This database allows researchers in the physics and engineering disciplines to search for and monitor research output at the institution, national, and global levels to compare research output and locate potential collaborators.
Pivot. Run by the Office of Sponsored Programs, this searchable database allows researchers to locate funding opportunities and potential collaborators based on their past research and experience. Users can set up automatic alerts to be alerted of potential future opportunities.
Social Media are websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Many academics also use these profiles for professional interactions, such as sharing their research, interacting with others in their field, and discussing hot topics at conferences.
There are a variety of platforms available for use on your computer or as an app on your smartphone/tablet. A general rule of thumb is to keep your professional and personal profiles separate, though having a combined personal/professional profile is becoming more common. Creating a profile on these sites is generally free, though some like LinkedIn offer paid upgrades for a monthly/weekly/annual fee.
To see the social media sites for UNLV departments and groups on campus, visit UNLV's Social Media Directory.
LinkedIn is an online social network that is geared specifically towards professionals and businesses. This platform is used to post jobs, promote projects, awards, and posting short articles to develop a professional reputation and build professional networks. Users can follow prominent leaders in their field, follow topics that interest them (e.g. Accounting, Business, etc.), connect with other professionals they know, and reach out to other connections that are "2nd" (friend of a friend) or "3rd" level (works in the same or similar industry).
YouTube is a video hosting platform, owned by Google, that allows creators to make and post videos for the general public. There isn't as much of a social networking aspect to this platform, but many businesses and academic institutions use its services to post videos for use in online tutorials, or in the classroom. Users can "Like" or "Dislike" videos and add comments, as well as follow or "Subscribe" to creators that they want to see future content from.
Search for prominent members of your field, member associations, or interest groups that post content that is relevant or interesting to you. Look to see who those people follow. Bookmark hashtags or groups that match your interests so you can keep on top of new discussions. Locate colleagues that you have worked with previously, currently work with, or want to work with and establish those online connections.
Academic Networking is the practice of cultivating productive relationships within academia, or more specifically, your area of interest or study. This includes the exchange of information and collaborating within and across disciplines.
While similar in the networking aspect, academic networking sites are often more focused than social media sites because they cater specifically to those in academia. Similar to social media sites, you can choose to go onto these platforms and create your own profile to begin networking with others that share your interests. In some cases, such as Google Scholar, a profile is created for you when the platform obtains information about your published works. Creating a profile on these sites is generally free, although institutions often have to pay to access platforms such as Scopus or Web of Science.
Google Scholar is a free search engine that allows researchers to locate scholarly works (journal articles, conference papers, theses and dissertations, academic books, and more) across disciplines. Scholars can also have profiles that list their current affiliation, a list published scholarly work, and provide a citation count. A profile can be created in two ways - either by using your Google account or claiming a profile that has been automatically created for you. Google calls this claiming authorship. This profile is public and easily found by researchers using Google Scholar, and you can use citation tracking to watch how others are using your works.
Academia.edu is an academic networking site that serves primarily humanists and social scientists. Users of this site can share research papers with other academics, track their papers' dissemination using bibliometrics, and follow other scholars' research. Scholars wanting to create a free account for this site can sign up using their email, a Google user account, or their Facebook account. Signing up using another service (Google or Facebook) creates a connection between the two sites that may mean your information from one site is shared with the other.
ResearchGate is an academic networking and research sharing site that caters primarily to scientists. To create a free profile on this site you can join using your email, or connect using your existing LinkedIn or Facebook profiles. Signing up using another service creates a connection between the two sites that may mean your information from one site is shared with the other. In general, ResearchGate is one of the most well-known academic networking sites. Users can share their own research, connect with and follow colleagues and other researchers in various disciplines, and monitor bibliometrics about the reach of their research on the site.
In recent years, there have arisen some concerns about Academia.edu and data sharing, user privacy, and the creation of paid premium accounts. Similarly, scholars have raised issues with ResearchGate and its inaccurate measurement of scientific output, data sharing, and privacy concerns, and users receiving spam emails regularly. The site was also targeted by publishers in 2017 to remove papers shared, claiming violation of publisher copyright, which resulted in the removal of several papers.
Ways to address these concerns include managing your privacy settings, avoiding connecting your Academia.edu account to a personal account, and sharing research on discipline-specific Open Access repositories allowable under publisher copyright agreements.
Google Scholar can sometimes have issues with accuracy because it is entirely public and primarily uses Google user accounts for authorship, there may be articles written by you but claimed by other "authors". Occasionally, Google Scholar will also automatically add articles to your profile that you didn't author. You can use these tips to keep your authorship and profile on track.